Pasqueflower Pulsatilla vulgaris subsp. grandis

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
greater pasqueflower


The common name for Pulsatilla vulgaris subsp. grandis is Pasque Flower. This plant is notable for its showy flowers, which are a striking presence in the garden during early spring. Each bloom is bell-shaped and consists of several purple petals that are silky textured, making them look lush and inviting. At the heart of the flower, there are a bunch of golden-yellow stamens that create a vivid contrast with the purple petals. The flower stems are hairy and stand proudly above the foliage. Surrounding the base of the plant is a clump of fern-like leaves that are also hairy and possess a soft silvery-green appearance. As the flowers mature, they transform into plume-like seed heads that are quite ornamental, contributing to the plant's appeal even after the blooming period. Throughout its growth, the Pasque Flower maintains a compact, mounded shape with an innate elegance. It exudes a rustic charm that can be a great addition to rock gardens, borders, or wildflower meadows. It is a plant that is not only beautiful while in bloom but provides lasting interest throughout the seasons.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Pasque Flower, Great Pasque Flower, European Pasqueflower, Dane's Blood

    • Common names

      Anemone pulsatilla var. grandis, Pulsatilla halleri subsp. grandis.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Pasque Flower is considered toxic to humans. It contains several toxic compounds, including protoanemonin, which can cause severe irritation to the skin and mucous membranes. If ingested, the plant can cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, ingestion can result in convulsions, asphyxiation, hypotension (low blood pressure), and coma. Handling the plant can cause skin irritation and dermatitis, so it is essential to wear gloves when handling this plant and to avoid ingesting any part of it.

    • To pets

      The Pasque Flower is also toxic to pets, such as dogs and cats. Similar to its effects in humans, the plant contains protoanemonin, which can cause mouth and stomach irritation along with drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea if ingested. Ingesting any part of the plant can lead to severe health issues in pets, including seizures and difficulty in breathing. Pet owners should prevent their animals from coming into contact with or ingesting any part of the Pasque Flower.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      8 inches (20 cm)

    • Spread

      8 inches (20 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Pulsatilla, commonly known as Pasque Flower, offers vibrant purple flowers that enhance the visual appeal of gardens and landscapes.
    • Pollinator Attraction: Pasque Flower attracts bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, supporting biodiversity.
    • Spring Bloomer: As an early spring bloomer, Pasque Flower provides color and interest in gardens after the winter period.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, Pasque Flower is tolerant to drought, making it suitable for xeriscaping and low-water gardens.
    • Low Maintenance: Pasque Flower requires minimal care regarding watering, fertilization, and pruning, making it a convenient choice for gardeners.
    • Deer Resistance: This plant is generally resistant to deer, which can help to protect the garden from grazing damage.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anxiolytic: Pulsatilla vulgaris subsp. grandis has been traditionally used to alleviate anxiety and nervousness.
    • Antispasmodic: The plant has been used to relieve muscle spasms and tension.
    • Emmenagogue: Historically, it was used to stimulate menstrual flow and alleviate menstrual disorders.
    • Sedative: It has a history of use as a mild sedative to calm nerves and induce relaxation.
    • Anodyne: Used in traditional medicine to relieve pain.
    • Anti-inflammatory: The presence of certain compounds suggests possible anti-inflammatory properties.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Pasque Flower can be used as a natural dye, where the petals impart a range of colors from green to yellow, depending on the mordant used.
    • In the garden, Pasque Flower provides early spring nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinating insects emerging from hibernation.
    • The seeds of Pasque Flower, which are ornamented with fine, feathery appendages, can be used in dried flower arrangements to add texture.
    • The plant can serve as a groundcover in rock gardens, providing protection for soil-dwelling organisms and preventing soil erosion.
    • Pasque Flower is sometimes used in rituals or as a symbol of Easter due to its early spring blooming period and poignant common name.
    • The dried stalks and flowers can be utilized in crafts or as a part of wreaths, offering a wild and natural aesthetic.
    • In photography, Pasque Flower is chosen for its photogenic qualities, adding a touch of wilderness and natural beauty to botanical portraits.
    • Pasque Flower can be a teaching tool in botany and horticulture for identifying and discussing the survival strategies of early spring flowers.
    • The plant may be included in wildlife-friendly gardens to support biodiversity, since it provides habitat and resources for native species.
    • Pasque Flower acts as a seasonal indicator for many people, symbolizing the transition between winter and spring and helping to observe phenological changes in the environment.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Pasque Flower is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Pasque Flower is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Pasque Flower
      • Easter and springtime: The Pasque Flower is one of the first plants to bloom in spring, often around Easter time, thus symbolizing rebirth and new beginnings.
      • Religious significance: Its association with Easter can lend this plant a religious significance, particularly in Christian symbolism representing the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
      • Remembrance: In the language of flowers, the Pasque Flower can represent remembrance or the memory of loved ones.
      • Beauty and fragility: Noted for its delicate and beautiful blossoms, it symbolizes both beauty and the ephemeral nature of life.
      • Anticipation and patience: As it emerges from the cold of winter, the Pasque Flower represents the anticipation of warmth and the patience required through the cold months.

When soil is dry
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 3-5 years
Early Spring
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The Pasque Flower should be watered deeply yet infrequently, to replicate the dry conditions of its natural habitat. It's essential to allow the soil to dry out between waterings to prevent overwatering and root rot. During the active growing season in spring and early summer, watering every 7 to 10 days with approximately one to two gallons depending on the size of the plant and the climate conditions can be sufficient. In the dormant season, reduce watering further, but don't allow the plant to completely dry out for extended periods.

  • sunLight

    Pasque Flower thrives in full sun to partial shade with at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. The best spot for this plant is in a south or west-facing position where it receives ample sunlight but gets some relief from the intense afternoon heat.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Pasque Flower is hardy and can endure a temperature range from winter lows of about -20°F to summer highs around 85°F. However, the ideal temperature conditions for this plant during its growth period lie within the range of 60°F to 75°F. It's vital to avoid extreme heat as it can stress the plant.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune the Pasque Flower to remove spent flower heads after blooming to promote a tidy appearance and potentially encourage additional blooms. Pruning is also necessary to remove dead or damaged foliage. The best time to prune is immediately after flowering has ceased.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Pasque Flower requires a well-draining soil mix with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. A blend of 50% gritty material like coarse sand or perlite, 30% garden soil, and 20% well-rotted compost or leaf mold works best for this plant.

  • plantRepotting

    The Pasque Flower should be repotted every 2-3 years, or when the plant has outgrown its current container, to provide fresh nutrients and prevent overcrowding of roots.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    The Pasque Flower prefers a dry environment with low humidity levels, typical of its native habitat, the grasslands and open woodlands of Europe.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright light, cool temps, and good airflow for Pasque Flowers.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in sun to partial shade, in well-draining soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      The Pasque Flower is suitable for USDA zones 4-8.

  • circleLife cycle

    Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris subsp. grandis) begins its life cycle as a seed, which, once sown and with the right conditions, will germinate and sprout into a seedling. The plant grows a deep taproot and a rosette of finely dissected leaves that persists over winter. Following a period of vegetative growth, it produces flowering stalks in early spring, with large, bell-shaped flowers typically purple in color, which are pollinated by early bees and other insects. After pollination, the plant forms a distinctive plumed seed head, which aids in the dispersal of seeds by the wind. As a perennial, the Pasque Flower enters a dormant period during the late summer, with above-ground parts dying back. Each year, from the same root system, new growth emerges in the following spring, continuing the cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Early Spring

    • Pulsatilla vulgaris subsp. grandis, commonly known as Pasque Flower, is best propagated through seed. To achieve successful propagation, the seeds should be sown as soon as they are ripe. Fresh seeds tend to have a higher germination rate compared to stored ones. Sowing should take place in a well-draining soil mix, covering the seeds with a thin layer of sand or grit. Keep the pot in a cold frame or a sheltered outdoor area; this ensures that the seeds experience a period of cold stratification which is necessary for breaking dormancy. Germination can be slow and may take several months, and once seedlings have reached a substantial size, they can be transplanted into the garden or into individual pots.